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Call of Duty players file lawsuit to stop Microsoft-Activision merger

Remember, No Merger.

Justin Carter, Contributing Editor

December 21, 2022

1 Min Read
Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2

In the hopes of stopping Microsoft's ongoing acquisition of Activision Blizzard, a group of Call of Duty players filed a private consumer lawsuit in California against the Xbox maker. Per Reuters, the 10 players from California, New jersey, and New Mexico are taking action against Microsoft to stop it from having "far-outsized market power" and killing competition in the game industry. 

The complaint further alleges that a successful merger would allow Microsoft to "foreclose rivals, limit output, reduce consumer choice, raise prices, and further inhibit competition."

Such complaints have been made by numerous global regulators (and also Sony) in recent months, but this marks the first real instance of the public actively pushing back on Microsoft's efforts to buy the publisher of Overwatch 2 and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II

And the plaintiffs took things a step further by seeking an order to block Microsoft from acquiring Activision Blizzard, period. 

"The merger of Microsoft and Activision Blizzard will irreparably harm competition because Microsoft is acquiring, and thereby eliminating one of only a few significant rivals of gaming content creation," the complaint continues. "The current and future competition between Microsoft and Activision Blizzard will be irretrievably lost."

"As the video game industry continues to grow and evolve, it's critical that we protect the market from monopolistic mergers that will harm consumers in the long run," said plaintiffs' attorney Joseph Saveri in a separate statement.

Microsoft is also being sued by the FTC at the moment to prevent the merger, but the plaintiffs are allowed to pursue antitrust cases in US court. Though it's been able to make moves and give responses to government agencies about how this benefits the players, the usual spin may be more difficult when it's the players making their feelings known.

About the Author(s)

Justin Carter

Contributing Editor, GameDeveloper.com

A Kansas City, MO native, Justin Carter has written for numerous sites including IGN, Polygon, and SyFy Wire. In addition to Game Developer, his writing can be found at io9 over on Gizmodo. Don't ask him about how much gum he's had, because the answer will be more than he's willing to admit.

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